1. Introduction

So you have yourself in a bit of a bind, you need to get an existing API to do something different. Maybe you need more information on an Account record, or perhaps your custom module needs some custom handling to go along with it. This cookbook entry is going to give you a few examples on how to override the default behavior of the REST API.

2. Before we get started

Before we get started you need to have some basic idea of how to interact with the SugarCRM API from a client standpoint and The School of REST – Part 1 is a great place to start. After that you should probably learn how to add a new API so you could use that instead and for that I will point you to Adding a rest endpoint.With that taken care of let’s get started on modifying an existing API.

3. Api Helper Classes

In order to facilitate different modules having different needs we added the SugarApiHelper class. You can find this class in data/SugarBeanApiHelper.php this class is used by all modules and is responsible for both formatting any bean before it is displayed to the client and also handling populating the bean from the API’s requests to save/update.

To create a new ApiHelper for the class Contacts put a file in either custom/module/Contacts/ContactsApiHelper.php and then name the class in there CustomContactsApiHelper and be sure to extend the ContactsApiHelper. An important thing to note here is that you use the module name in front of ApiHelper, so it is Contacts instead of just Contact. For your own custom modules you can just put that ApiHelper class in your custom module’s base directory. Some of our shipped modules have ApiHelpers, and others don’t so if you are creating a custom api helper be sure to check if the base api helper exists and extend that if it does, otherwise just extend the core SugarBeanApiHelper class.

4. Overriding FormatForApi()

For our cookbook entry here we are going to build a method to display some information about the biggest open opportunity related to this contact.

To add a api helper for the Contacts module first we check for an existing helper. Out of the box helpers will be located in the modules directory and will be named the module name with ApiHelper.php on the end. So if we look at modules/Contacts/ we will see a ContactsApiHelper.php file (note: It’s not ContactApiHelper.php we use the plural here). Since there is a module specific helper already when we create our custom helper we will need to be sure to extend our CustomContactsApiHelper class from the ContactsApiHelper instead of from SugarBeanApiHelper. The method we are going to override here is formatForApi(). This method is responsible for converting a bean object into an array suitable for outputting over the API, it is called from all over the API, single record views, listing records, showing lists of related records, everywhere.  One of the things it does for example is that it reformats all of the dates and times into a standardized ISO-8601 format to make it simple for the other side to parse. To get this started we will make it simple we are just overriding the formatForApi() method, calling the parent method in there and then adding some filler data to the top_opp section and returning the data. This will be an easy way for us to check and make sure our api helper is being called. If you try this and it doesn’t work the first thing to do is run a quick repair and rebuild to have it rebuild the file path cache and then the second thing is to make sure you are using the plural version and you name your class correctly.

Here is what we get back in our initial response. Notice that we added a fields parameter to the list in order to make sure we fetched the top_opp field.

To fill in the rest of this function we turn to our good friend SugarQuery. We build a seed bean, pass that to SugarQuery so it knows how to translate the fields then we join it to the current contact. Finally we restrict it down to the top opportunity. With that we grab the bean using fetchFromQuery() so we don’t have to manually populate the bean, run that bean through the Opportunities formatForApi() to keep things nice and consistent and copy the API ready format over to the output data.

Now you see that we get the top opportunity on every Contact. Also note how the numbers and the dates are formatted the exact same way as everything else in the API thanks to our call to formatForApi()

5. Overriding populateFromApi()

Typical relate fields in SugarCRM do not respond to changes on the parent record. This is an intentional design decision to prevent users from accidentally changing parent records. For “top_opp” however we want it to be different, we want to support changing that record directly from the related Contact. This is where populateFromApi() comes in. The symmetric method for formatForApi() this method takes API formatted data and populates it into a bean. By overriding this method in the same class we defined above we will be able to force feed the data into the top Opportunity and save it manually. To do this we just call the parent method, make sure there are no errors and that they actually submitted some “top_opp” data. After we have verified that we should populate a bean, we build a bean, retrieve it based on the passed in ID and then run it through the Opportunities ApiHelper to populate that data. If there are no errors there we manually save the Opportunity and return true so that the Contact is saved by whatever called it.

Testing it out we see that we can change the name from the related Contact. Amounts and expected closed dates could also be set in PRO editions, but ENT has some special logic around those so we can’t populate them externally as easily.

6. Adding hooks to fetchFromQuery()

Eagle eyed readers may have spotted the fact that if you run a query in fetchFromApi() that means on a list you will run that query once per row, for efficiency sake that’s not exactly the best thing to do. We will use this as a good example on how to modify list views to run alternative queries. Please note that in the future normal retrieve() calls map run through this same set of code, so be prepared for that. We’ve seen fetchFromQuery() run in the previous example of fetchFromApi(), so we see that it takes in a query object and returns an array of populated beans. The good news with this function is that it was designed to be hooked into using both the before_fetch_query and after_fetch_query logic hooks. The before hook is perfect for modifying the query to have it return different data for a set of fields, or return extra data that you can get at from the after hook to populate into the bean. While we could have done it using both a before and after hook I decided to make it easy and just run it as a separate query per list and run it all through the after_fetch_query hook.

To get started here we need to add a logic hook file into custom/modules/Contacts/logic_hooks.php that looks like this:

Now if we look at the actual code of the custom/modules/Contacts/DemoHook.php that we referenced in the logic_hooks.php file we will notice that we skip out early if we aren’t in the requested list of fields, or if there are no beans in the list. If we are clear to proceed we go ahead and build up the SugarQuery in much the same way as the previous example, except this time instead of passing in a single contact we pass in an array of contacts to match on and instead of limiting to the first result we group by the contact id and order by the amount_usdollar, this should give us the top opportunity per contact id. This will only work on MySQL, but I figured it was the easiest way to demo this. From there we run fetchFromQuery() on the Opportunities themselves and then using the raw rows that were returned we re-associate them with the parent contact.

Don’t need to put in a request/response here because with all of that added work everything looks the same just now we don’t run a bunch of queries on a list view, only one.

7. So you really have to override an endpoint.

Some days all of the logic hooks in the world aren’t enough. I’ve tried to give you a lot of very simple and supported methods to override our API but if they just aren’t enough for you then you can always override the endpoint. Be cautious and consult an expert before overriding an endpoint, take a stroll and think about it, and just know that we may add functionality to an endpoint that you aren’t expecting so you may break things on a normal update.

Didn’t scare you off and you still want to add an endpoint? Okay then, here you go. Overriding an endpoint is very similar to creating a new endpoint so start by following the directions there. Don’t worry about your path conflicting with another path in the base app, the REST lookup code prefers endpoints registered in the custom directory, you will notice that two identical endpoints registered for the same path will appear in /help, but the one with the highest score wins. If you want to live in the danger zone and override an endpoint so that the REST API will match a less-specific path you can add bonus score by putting a value in the option extraScore in your registerApiRest() array for that endpoint. In our example here we will register a new endpoint living on top of the out of the box /Contacts/:record endpoint. Let’s create this class in the file custom/modules/Contacts/clients/base/api/FavoriteBurgerApi.php making sure that the filename matches the class name. In our override class we will also extend the ModuleApi because that is what normally handles these requests. In our overridden retrieveRecord() method we call the parent method so it can continue doing the things it normally does and after that is done we just go in and manipulate the returned data before we send it back. Be sure to run a quick repair and rebuild and check the /help to make sure the REST API picked up your newly created endpoint, it helps to make the short help something unique so it’s easier to spot.

As you can see in the sample request we have now added a “favorite_burger” field to the returned data.

8. And that’s all

While there are many more ways to manipulate the data inside of Sugar, these are the new ways to manipulate the data directly relating to the REST API that all non-backwards compatible code runs through in newer versions of Sugar. I hope this gives you all a good idea on where you can start getting your customizations in for your individual implementations of SugarCRM.

This article is aimed at beginning to intermediate SugarCRM developers who want to create custom filters in SugarCRM version 7.

This does not cover the custom filters that users can create for themselves.  Those are stored on a per-user basis and are not available to all users.  Instead, this document will cover creating filters that all users of the system will have access to.

This article assumes some knowledge of SQL, PHP, Unix, and general web stuff.

About Filters

In Sugar 7 parlance a filter is used to control what rows of data are displayed to the user in a given view.  Sugar has a number of core filters which come with Sugar out of the box.  When you go to a page with a layout that makes use of the filter view and click on the “Filter” pulldown menu you’ll see them displayed as options:

Image

When you choose one of those filters you’ll notice that the rows that show up in the list view change.  The filter supplies certain characteristics the data must meet before the row is displayed in the view.

Filters can be extremely useful when you want to limit what the user sees and not just present every row in the table to the user.

How to create a very basic filter

The core filters are very convenient since you don’t have to do anything to make them show up. However, it’s not unusual to have a need for a more customized filter that sets criteria specific to your individual needs.  No core filter will be able to supply that.  Fortunately, SugarCRM 7 provides a way to  create such a filter without having to descend into the core functionality of the product and hack something into place.

So let’s dive in and create a very simple filter.

For the purposes of this document I have gone into Studio and created a module called “Random Custom Stuff” with a module name of “flt_RandomCustom”.  I know that’s a weird name, but it’s how we do things where I work, so I went with it.  I also added a custom field to the module to hold a random number.  This created both the “flt_randomcustom” and “flt_randomcustom_cstm” tables (among others) in the database.  That will be more interesting later.

When I go to

http://{my instance}/#flt_RandomCustom

I see the following:

Image

You see all the rows for this module displayed because the default filter is “All Random Custom Stuff” which simply shows everything.  We’ll change that by creating a new filter.

Let’s create a filter to only show rows which have a name of “Blorg” and call it the “Blorg Only” filter.  Let’s say that you installed SugarCRM in

/var/www/sugarcrm

The first thing to do would be to create a directory for your new filter.  Like other components such as layouts and views, you create a custom filter by adding a directory and files under the
“custom/” directory in the SugarCRM instance.  We want this filter to be available only to this module so we’ll create the directory:

/var/www/sugarcrm/custom/modules/flt_RandomCustom/clients/base/filters/blorgonly

At first glance that looks like a crazy path, but if you’ve done any other customization of SugarCRM 7 you’ll recognize that this fits with layouts, views, and other customizations.

In that directory create a file “blorgonly.php” which contains the following text:

<?php
$module_name = "flt_RandomCustom";
$viewdefs[$module_name]['base']['filter']['blorgonly'] = array(
    'create'               => false,
    'filters'              => array(
        array(
            'id'                => 'blorgonly',
            'name'              => 'LBL_BLORG_ONLY_FILTER',
            'filter_definition' => array(
                array(
                    'name' => 'Blorg',
                ),
            ),
            'editable'          => false,
        ),
    ),
);

It’s very important that the name of the PHP file match the name of the directory which needs to match the name of the filter.  You’ll notice in the code above that we specify the name of the filter in two places, once as the element of the “filter” viewdefs array, and again as the “id” of the filter.  Both are important.  For the “name” we’ve put in a placeholder for a label string.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a minute.

The real action takes place in the “filter_definition” array.  You can see that we have a single element that says that the “name” has to be “Blorg”.  The “name” field of the array under “filter_definition” is referring to the name of the actual column in the underlying table (flt_randomcustom in this case).  And, just to make things confusing, the name of that column is “name”.

To make it actually work you have to go to the Admin menu, click on Repair, and then click on “Quick Repair and Rebuild”.

When you reload http://{my instance}/#flt_RandomCustom and click on the filter pulldown you should see something like this:

basic_in_place

When you click on the new filter you should see only the row with “Blorg” as the name appear.  My friend, you’ve just created your first custom filter in SugarCRM 7.  Savor the moment.

Now, if you don’t want a reputation for shoddy work, you’re going to want to make that label look like something real.  To do that we have to set up a string for it.  To do that we create another PHP file:

/var/www/sugarcrm/custom/Extension/modules/flt_RandomCustom/Ext/Language/en_us.RCFilt.php

This filename has to start with “en_us.” and end with “.php” but it can be named anything within that.  The contents of that file should be something like:

<?php
$mod_strings['LBL_BLORG_ONLY_FILTER'] = 'Only Blorg Rows';

Once you have that file in place, do the “Quick Repair and Rebuild” again.  Reloading the page and clicking on the filter pulldown should now look like this:

filter_label_done

And there you have it, a simple custom filter users can employ within a custom module.

Making more complex filters

Filters which restrict rows to those matching a single value are all fine and good, you say, but not much use in the real world.  Reality demands much more complex criteria for filters.  I completely agree.  Let’s see if we can construct a less trivial filter.

Constructing a complex filter is exactly the same as the simple filter above except that the “filter_definition” array contents are more complicated.

Here’s where knowledge of SQL comes in handy.  The way that the filter_definition array works is not unlike the WHERE clause of a SELECT statement.  Let’s consider this example:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        'random_number_c' => '17',
        'date_entered' => '2014-01-22 13:21:01',
    ),
),

By default, things that are grouped together within arrays have an implied AND relationship.  In this case the filter will only show rows with a random number of 17 and the given date_entered value.  By the way, did you notice that the random number field ends with “_c”?  That’s right, you can specify custom fields in these filters as well.  They just get treated like the columns of the main table.

Okay, that’s slightly cooler, but how would you do an OR instead of an AND?

The filter mechanism has these command directives which start with $ that you can use.  In this case we want to make use of the “$or” directive:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        '$or' => array(
            array('random_number_c' => '17'),
            array('random_number_c' => '827'),
        ),
    ),
),

This array groups together two conditions with the $or directive which means that rows with either value for that column should be shown.  You’ve probably noticed that the two conditions need to be wrapped in arrays of their own within the $or array.  That’s important.  Bad stuff happens if you forget to do that.  Also, don’t make the mistake of using double-quotes or PHP will try to interpret the $or as a variable and fail.

So now let’s try to construct a really complex filter.

Let’s say you need to create a filter that’s the equivalent of this WHERE clause:

WHERE
(
    date_entered = "2014-03-01 19:54:47"
    OR (
        random_number_c > 0
        AND random_number_c < 40
    )
)
AND (
    name LIKE “A%"
    OR name LIKE "B%"
    OR name LIKE "R%"
)

Wow.  Okay, so it’s kind of tough to just rattle off the PHP necessary to do this, so let’s break it down logically.  First, we have two big conditions AND’ed together which implies:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        //The thing with ‘date_entered’ and other stuff
    ),
    array(
        //The thing with the three ‘name’ conditions
    ),
),

The second condition is a little more straightforward, so let’s handle that one first.  To reproduce the behavior with the LIKE’s above, SugarCRM filters have a $starts directive which tests for whether the value of a string starts with the given value.  So we would use it as follows:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        //The thing with the ‘date_entered’ and other stuff
    ),
    array(
        '$or' => array(
            array(
                'name' => array(
                    '$starts' => 'A',
                ),
            ),
            array(
                'name' => array(
                    '$starts' => 'B',
                ),
            ),
            array(
                'name' => array(
                    '$starts' => 'R',
                ),
            ),
        ),
    ),
),

While that may look intimidating, actually it makes sense.  It’s just three $starts conditions OR’ed together.

Now let’s attack the first bit.  What if all we had to do was do the two tests for the random number?  It would look like this:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        array(
            'random_number_c' => array(
                '$lt' => '40',
            ),
        ),
        array(
            'random_number_c' => array(
                '$gt' => '0',
            ),
        ),
    ),
    array(
        //The thing with the three ‘name’ conditions
    ),
),

That’s not too bad, right?  Now let’s OR in the date_entered test:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        '$or' => array(
            array(
                '$and' => array(
                    array(
                        'random_number_c' => array(
                            '$lt' => '40'
                        ),
                    ),
                    array(
                        'random_number_c' => array(
                            '$gt' => '0'
                        ),
                    ),
                ),
            ),
            array(
                'date_entered' => '2014-03-01 19:54:47'
            ),
        ),
    ),
    array(
        //The thing with the three ‘name’ conditions
    ),
),

Okay, I admit it, that’s a little weird.  You have to explicitly use the $and directive because in this case it gets confused if you leave the AND implied as before.  So let’s put the whole filter together in all its glory:

'filter_definition' => array(
    array(
        '$or' => array(
            array(
                '$and' => array(
                    array(
                        'random_number_c' => array(
                            '$lt' => '40'
                        ),
                    ),
                    array(
                        'random_number_c' => array(
                            '$gt' => '0'
                        ),
                    ),
                ),
            ),
            array(
                'date_entered' => '2014-03-01 19:54:47'
            ),
        ),
    ),
    array(
        '$or' => array(
            array(
                'name' => array(
                    '$starts' => 'A',
                ),
            ),
            array(
                'name' => array(
                    '$starts' => 'B',
                ),
            ),
            array(
                'name' => array(
                    '$starts' => 'R',
                ),
            ),
        ),
    ),
),

Sadly, the filter mechanism lacks some of the features of an SQL WHERE clause such as NOT, a true LIKE, and a few other things.  But you can handle most conditions with filters.

For a complete list of directives and additional documentation you can go to:

http://{your instance}/rest/v10/help

Search for “/<module>/filter” next to “GET” and click on it.

Making your filter the default filter

Normally with a layout that includes the filter pulldown the filter that shows all rows is the default.  This is usually fine, but sometimes it’s not ideal.  It’s pretty easy to set a custom filter as the default filter for a module.

To do this you need to create a “default/” directory in the same “filters/” directory as your other custom filters.  In this directory you create a “default.php” file.  But instead of the filter code you saw above, the file would instead contain something like this:

<?php
$module_name = 'flt_RandomCustom';
$viewdefs[$module_name]['base']['filter']['default'] = array(
    'default_filter' => 'blorgonly',
);

As I imagine you figured out, this will set the default filter to the blorgonly filter we created earlier.  To see this work you sometimes have to clear your browser cache completely after doing the repair and rebuild, but before reloading the page.

Debugging techniques

Remember the horrible complex filter we saw above?  It was as ugly to write as it is to read.  Developing it took a lot of iterations.  There aren’t a lot of tools which will help you figure things out, but there are a few.

Examining the API Call

When SugarCRM 7 tries to apply a filter it makes a GET call to the appropriate filter API.  If you open the JavaScript console on your browser (or Firebug, or whatever your tool of choice is) you can see the API call go by along with any errors.  It can sometimes be helpful to pull out the URL it calls and examine it to see what it might be trying to do.

Here’s the URL for the API call for the big ugly filter (with the various entities replaced with their original characters, of course):

http://{whatever+your+intance+is}/rest/v10/flt_RandomCustom/filter?fields=name,random_number_c,date_entered,my_favorite&max_num=20&order_by=date_modified:desc&filter[0][$or][0][$and][0][random_number_c][$lt]=40&filter[0][$or][0][$and][1][random_number_c][$gt]=0&filter[0][$or][1][date_entered]=2014-03-01+19:54:47&filter[1][$or][0][name][$starts]=A&filter[1][$or][1][name][$starts]=B&filter[1][$or][2][name][$starts]=R

Yeah, yikes.  But, you can ignore everything up to the first &filter parameter which leaves:

&filter[0][$or][0][$and][0][random_number_c][$lt]=40&filter[0][$or][0][$and][1][random_number_c][$gt]=0&filter[0][$or][1][date_entered]=2014-03-01+19:54:47&filter[1][$or][0][name][$starts]=A&filter[1][$or][1][name][$starts]=B&filter[1][$or][2][name][$starts]=R

That’s still not wonderful, but if you split it out by parameter, you get:

&filter[0][$or][0][$and][0][random_number_c][$lt]=40
&filter[0][$or][0][$and][1][random_number_c][$gt]=0
&filter[0][$or][1][date_entered]=2014-03-01+19:54:47
&filter[1][$or][0][name][$starts]=A
&filter[1][$or][1][name][$starts]=B
&filter[1][$or][2][name][$starts]=R

Which actually starts to make some sense, sort of.  Note, for example, how there are two main arrays, just like the arrays we have in our filter_definition array.

Watching how these parameters change as you change your filter code can shed light on how you need to arrange your arrays and directives.  It’s not a slam dunk by any means, but it can help when you’re stuck.  You’ll often see things grouped together in ways you didn’t expect which can point to a problem.

Actually calling the API

Sometimes it’s helpful to actually make the API call that SugarCRM makes so you can see everything in detail including any errors, warnings, and any returned rows.  You can also mess with the parameters directly to see what effect that has on the results.  Fortunately it’s not that hard to do.  Here’s what you need to do:

Bring up your favorite utility for making API calls.  For example, POSTman in Chrome, or RESTClient in Firefox are good choices.  For the purposes of this explanation we’ll use POSTman in Chrome, but the basic ideas are the same regardless of the tool you choose.

Bring up the JavaScript console in Chrome, select the “Network” tab, and reload your page with your filter selected.  You should see a bunch of calls go by.  Once the page is loaded, from the bottom up, hover over each call until you find a one resembling:

http://{your instance}/rest/v10/{your module name}/filter?...

That’s the API call that Sugar makes to apply the filter to the rows.

Click on that entry and make sure the “Headers” tab is selected.  This should show you, among many other things, the OAuth-Token.  Save that string.

java_console

Copy the “Request URL” into the url line for POSTman, set the method to GET, and add OAuth-Token to the header with a value of the string you just saved.

When you hit “Send” you should get a result with a return status of 200 and a “records” array appropriate for your filter.

This too isn’t necessarily a slam dunk in terms of debugging, but sometimes you’ll see errors or other things which may point to the problem.  Also you can manually change the parameters to experiment with different things to try to solve the problem.

So you’ve seen what the REST API can do and you want more. In this recipe we’ll be covering how to create your own REST endpoint.

Our sample endpoint is going to go beyond the filter API and give us a list of accounts ordered by the number of open cases.

1. Deciding on an endpoint location

This is just about the most important step in adding a new endpoint. The URL of an endpoint should be created using RESTful ideas and placed in the virtual directory tree in a way that will make it easy for developers too see the original intent of this API.

Since this endpoint is just going to be reading data let’s make it a “GET” request.

Because we are dealing primarily with account data we’ll throw it in “/Accounts“.

To finish it off we’ll name the endpoint “at_risk“.

So with it all together our endpoint is “GET /Accounts/at_risk“, now we could have our URL set to anything else but with a descriptive name and using the correct HTTP verb of GET it will help any other developers coming across calls to this endpoint to better understand what we are asking for.

2. Creating the endpoint class

The REST service looks in a lot of locations for endpoint classes:

  • clients/:platform/api/*
  • modules/:module/clients/:platform/api/*
  • custom/clients/:platform/api/*
  • custom/modules/:module/clients/:platform/api/*

Since we are adding a custom accounts endpoint we’ll create a new class “AtRiskApi” and put it in the file “custom/modules/Accounts/clients/base/api/AtRiskApi.php“. It is important to name the file so that it is the same as the class name except with .php at the end otherwise the REST service won’t find our class.

To get this class so it is listening for a specific URL we need to add a function ->registerApiRest(). We are setting the path to array(‘Accounts’, ‘at_risk’) and set the pathVars to array(”, ”) to represent “Accounts/at_risk” and not bring any part of the URL in to our array of arguments. If we wanted to match against a wildcard to look at the at risk profile for a single account record for example we could add a path of array(‘Accounts’, ‘?’, ‘at_risk’) and a pathVars of array(”, ‘id’, ”) which would let us listen for “Accounts/*/at_risk” and would take the second part of the path and populate the id element of our arguments with it.

Next we will actually add a function, setting the method in our register array to getAtRisk lets the REST API know to call that method in this class. We’ll keep this method simple for now and just have it return ‘burgers’ just so we can tell it is working right away. These methods just need to return data and the REST API will take care of all the json encoding for you.

Finally we add a little line in the shortHelp giving a quick description of what this endpoint is for. We’re leaving the longHelp out of this little demo but if you are building endpoints for real be sure to add some detailed documents there.

So, after everything is all said and done, here’s what our little class looks like:

3. Taking it for a test drive

Let’s do a GET request for /rest/v10/Accounts/at_risk

curl -X GET -H OAuth-Token:some-token http://localhost/burgers/rest/v10/Accounts/at_risk

And here is what we get back:

Hey, what gives? First things first let’s check to see if it registered correctly by looking for the endpoint definition in /help, navigate over to /rest/v10/help in your browser and look for it. Not there? didn’t think so.

We added the class and it didn’t load. Since the REST API looks for so many files in so many directories we have to add some heavy duty caching in order to speed up the url lookup on every single request. In order for changes in endpoint definitions to show up we need to login as an admin and run quick repair and rebuild.

After quick repair, let’s check /rest/v10/help again and you should see a line like this:

snapshot1

So let’s try that request again.

curl -X GET -H OAuth-Token:some-token http://localhost/burgers/rest/v10/Accounts/at_risk

Now we get back the correct response:

4. Fetching the data

While having a new URL that says “burgers” is pretty fancy I think we can accomplish more. While there are many ways to fetch and return this data I want to show you the preferred way to do it in Sugar 7.

First things first we need to start off by using SugarQuery. Let’s get a seed bean going by fetching a new bean from the bean factory. We pass that through to the SugarQuery ->from() method to let SugarQuery know we will be querying off of the Accounts module. We’ll limit our result set to just ID’s by adding ->select(‘id’) and then limit our rows to just the first five by adding ->limit(3). From here we can just have it return the results of the ->execute() call and see what that gets us.

Now our getAtRisk function looks like this:

and when we make that same GET request to Accounts/at_risk we get back:

Okay so now we have some simple SQL being run and are returning the result set. How about we add some more complex logic here so we actually fetch the results we want. To start things off let’s join in the cases by adding this “$caseAlias = $q->join(‘cases’)->joinName();“. It’s nice that we just need to use the link field to add a join and everything else is handled by SugarQuery. SugarQuery also understands that we have to go beyond it’s abilities every once in a while, so we need to add a ->fieldRaw() call to fetch the count and then an ->orderByRaw() to properly sort them. We have to use the Raw versions of the functions because neither of those columns are defined in the field_defs for the modules. The ->groupBy() call just needs to group by the account ID so that is simple. Finally the ->where()->notIn() is there so we only fetch related cases that aren’t resolved, no need to quote elements here because SugarQuery will handle that for us.

Added all together it looks like this:

Once again let’s hit Accounts/at_risk and see what we get:

Looking good! Now we are getting the data we need how about we make it look nice for the javascript client that needs it?

5. Formatting the data

To format the data first we have to figure out what to format. Most endpoints accept the argument fields to specify which fields they want returned from the api and we’ll keep up that tradition here with some simple parsing of the $args array.

Next up we want to convert the results of the query into beans so they can be properly formatted. Previously you would have to perform the PHP equivalent of banging two rocks together to make fire by manually fetching the rows and creating beans and populating them via ->populateFromRow(). Fortunately we are introducing a helper function in SugarBean named ->fetchFromQuery() to help automate and centralize this process, so we’ll just call that here. We need to pass ->fetchFromQuery() the option of returnRawRows because we need to populate the case_count field manually because it doesn’t exist in any of the field definitions.

With the beans returned from ->fetchFromQuery() we strip out the raw rows from the result set and then pass the remaining beans through to ->formatBeans() so that our returned results look the same as every single other API call. After we get the results back as an array from ->formatBeans() we loop through the results and jam the case_count in there.

So with all that, here’s what our final method looks like:

And when we finally call the Accounts/at_risk, here is what we get:

curl -X GET -H OAuth-Token:some-token http://localhost/burgers/rest/v10/Accounts/at_risk?fields=id,name,date_modified

6. All done!

That’s all, I hope this clears how to add your own endpoint to Sugar 7. Along with some helpful tips on how to use a combination of SugarQuery, ->fetchFromQuery() and ->formatBeans() to create easy and standardized code for returning data from the API. Add a comment if you have questions.

We are pleased to announce the return of UnCon!

Sugar is more than just a CRM – it is also a platform where developers can build all sorts of custom widgets and integrations to popular 3rd party applications and APIs. Join us at UnCon to learn how sweet it can be to build integrations and widgets in Sugar!

UnCon is a great chance for novice and skilled Sugar developers to hack side-by-side with our core engineers.

We’ll be giving you a crash course in building integrations, and then we will have our developers join forces with you to make awesome happen in a two day hackathon!

This year the core engineering team will be hosting the event on Tuesday, April 29th and Wednesday, April, 30th.

You can attend UnCon with a General Conference pass to SugarCon for $799 — or skip the conference and attend only UnCon for $99.

Click Here to Visit the official UnCon Website

This is the final section of the School of Rest. We’ll be covering filtering on relationships as well as Global Search, Favorites, and Deleting records.

We’ve already created our Account “Burger Palace” in Part 1 and showed how to filter lists with various conditions.

And in Part 2 we created our Contact “Bob Burger” and related him to “Burger Palace”. Now we’ll show how these same concepts apply to relationships.

11. Filtering on Relationships

All the same stuff that we learned for filtering on lists can be applied to relationships as well. Let’s retrieve all the Contacts that are related to “Burger Palace” whose first and last name starts with “B” and who we have marked as a favorite.

To filter on first and last name we know the filter looks like filter[0][first_name][$starts]=B and filter[0][last_name][$starts]=B

But what about favorites? Favorites are a way for users to specify which records are important to them and they have a special filter condition that looks like filter[0][$favorite]=_this

So we will do a GET request to /rest/v10/Accounts/demo_burger_palace/link/contacts?filter[0][last_name][$starts]=b&filter[0][first_name][$starts]=b&filter[0][$favorite]=_this&fields=name,first_name,last_name,email,description

Well that didn’t work to well. First, we need to mark “Bob Burger” as a favorite.

12. Mark a Contact as a Favorite – Bob Burger

All we need to do is a PUT to  /rest/v10/Contacts/demo_bob_burger/favorite

This works on all modules that support favorites, and allows us to quickly filter our favorite records.

You’ll notice in the response the record now says “my_favorite” is true.

If we wanted to unmark a record as a favorite we would just do a DELETE  to /rest/v10/Contacts/demo_bob_burger/favorite

13. Try Step 11 Again!

Let’s re-run the relationship filter from Step 10! Let’s do a GET request to /rest/v10/Accounts/demo_burger_palace/link/contacts?filter[0][last_name][$starts]=b&filter[0][first_name][$starts]=b&filter[0][$favorite]=_this&fields=name,first_name,last_name,email,description

Excellent! Now that’s what we expected!

14. Filter by a Related record

Now, let’s filter our Accounts list for only records that have a contact with the last name “burger”. Our filter condition will look like filter[0][contacts.last_name]=burger and remember that “contacts” in this case is the Link or Relationship Name not the module name.

So let’s do a GET to rest/v10/Accounts?filter[0][contacts.last_name]=burger

Great! We got “Burger Palace” which is what we wanted.

15. Global Search/Full Text Search 

Now let’s just search everywhere for the word “burger” and see what we get! All we have to do is a GET request to /rest/v10/search?q=burger  and that will search against SugarCRM’s Full Text Search.

We got two records back – “Burger Palace” and “Bob Burger”. So using Global Search/Full Text Search we can search against all of our objects at once!

16.  Let’s Clean Up

All we need to do is a DELETE request to /rest/v10/Accounts/demo_burger_palace

and another DELETE request to /rest/v10/Contacts/demo_bob_burger

And remember there is more documentation at /rest/v10/help

This is part 2 of 3 of The School of REST. In Part 1 we covered creating our Account “Burger Palace” and using the filter API to get just the records we wanted. Today we’ll cover retrieving records, creating our Contact “Bob Burger”, updating records, and associating records together.

 6. Retrieve a specific Account – Burger Palace 

We created “Burger Palace” with the id “demo_burger_palace”. To retrieve it using the RESTful interface, we just need to do a GET to rest/v10/Accounts/demo_burger_palace

7. Create a Contact – Bob Burger 

We have our customer account “Burger Palace”, but relationships are all about the people. Let’s create a Contact named “Bob Burger”. Using what we learned against Accounts, we can apply it to Contacts. Let’s do a POST to /rest/v10/Contacts

We’ll create “Bob Burger” with the id “demo_bob_burger”. Remember the we DO NOT need to pass in the id. We are only doing this for demo purposes right now. SugarCRM will automatically generate an id and return it as part of the response.

8. Update a Record – Bob Burger

 Great, we’ve created “Bob Burger” by doing a POST request. Now let’s update him by doing a PUT request to /rest/v10/Contacts/demo_bob_burger

9. Let’s associate our Contact and Account 

We have “Burger Palace” and “Bob Burger” now let’s bring them together by doing a POST to /rest/v10/Accounts/demo_burger_palace/link

We’ll need to pass two arguments.

  1.  a list of ids we wish to relate to “Burger Palace” which in this case is demo_bob_burger.
  2.  a link_name which is the name of the relationship we wish to use. In this case it is “contacts”, but it’s not always the name of the related module.

10. Get Contacts Associated to an Account – Burger Palace

We just related “Bob Burger” to “Burger Palace” now let’s view that relationship by retrieving the contacts related to “Burger Palace”. All we need to do is a GET request to /rest/v10/Accounts/demo_burger_palace/link/contacts where “contacts” is the same link_name we passed up in step 9. 

Now you’ll see in the response that “Bob Burger” is associated to “Burger Palace”

Continue on to Part 3  - Filtering on Relationships, Favorites, and Deleting Records 

Welcome to the School of REST – our first installment in the Sugar 7 Cookbook Series! We’ve always believed that DATA belongs to you and it should always be accessible to you! With Sugar 7 we’ve added a completely revamped REST API. Today we are going to cover all the basics of pushing data into and getting data out of your SugarCRM instance. For each of the API calls we’ll show how to do it in curl, a generic HTTP Request, as well as showing you the response. Also, before we get started you can always hit /rest/v10/help for detailed documentation on all the APIs.

In this Guide we will be creating an Account “Burger Palace” and relating it to a Contact “Bob Burger”. We will then show you the ins and outs of Creating and Updating Records, Filtering Lists, Creating Relationships, Filtering on Relationships, Marking Records as Favorites, and Deleting Records.

This guide is broken into 3 sections.

Part 1 – Connecting, Creating Records, and Filtering Lists

Part 2 – Retrieving, Updating, and Relating Records 

Part 3  - Filtering on Relationships, Favorites, and Deleting Records 

You may want to download PostMan for Chrome to follow along interactively from  http://www.getpostman.com/

You can download Our Cookbook1 PostMan collection from  https://gist.github.com/mitani/f39e8d94df9fbda4d97d

Step 1. Connecting/Authenticating

Sugar 7 uses two-legged OAuth2 for authentication. You simply need to do a POST to /rest/v10/oauth2/token with the following params:

grant_type String Type of request. Available grant types are “password” and “refresh_token”.
client_id String The client_id of “sugar” will automatically create an OAuth Key in the system and can be used for “password” authentication. The client_id of “support_portal” will create an OAuth Key if the portal system is enabled and will allow for portal authentication. Other client_id’s can be created by the administrator in the OAuthKeys section in the Administration section and can be used in the future for additional grant types, if the client secret is filled in, it will be checked to validate use of the client id.
client_secret String The clients secret key.
username String The username of the user authenticating to the system.
password String The plaintext password the user authenticating to the system.
platform String Defaults to “base” allows you to have custom meta-data per platform

So, first we are going to login using a grant_type of “password”.

Once you get the response you’ll need to hold onto the access_token and the refresh_token. Anytime the access_token is invalidated, you’ll want to make another request to the token endpoint with a grant_type of “refresh_token”. Store just the refresh_token in long term storage – not the username and password.

For all the following requests we are going to pass in a header of OAuth-Token: {{your access token here}}

2. Create an Account – Burger Palace

Now that we have the access_token we can start having some fun! Let’s create a new customer – “Burger Palace” as an Account.

Being that everything is RESTful creating a new record is just a POST away. In this case we just do a POST to /rest/v10/Accounts.

For this example we will be posting an id as part of the record. You do not need to do this as SugarCRM will automatically generate an id for your record.

And of course you can add any additional fields that you would like to set.

3. Retrieve a list of Accounts 

Great, now that we have records in our system let’s fetch them back.  Being RESTful you just need to do a GET request to /rest/v10/Accounts. Don’t forget to pass in the OAuth-Token header.  To speed things up be specific about the fields that you want. Let’s just fetch the name, account type, and description by passing in fields=name,account_type,description. We’ll pass in max_num to specify that we only want 3 records at a time. By default if max_num isn’t set it will return 20 records. In this case the request will look like /rest/v10/Accounts?fields=name,account_type,description&max_num=3

Excellent! If we wanted to paginate we could just add the offest param to the request. That is the number of records you want to skip in the list before returning anything. So passing an offset of 3 would get us to the next page of records.

4. Filter a list of Accounts by Name 

Now, let’s filter our list for records that have the name “Burger Palace”. To do this we just need to do a GET request to /rest/v10/Accounts and to pass in the filter parameter. In this case the request would look like /rest/v10/Accounts?filter[0][name]=Burger Palace&fields=name,account_type,description

You’ll notice in the response that the next_offset in the response is set to -1 which means that there are no more records in the collection.

5. Filter a list of Accounts by Names starting with “B” and a specific email address

Now, let’s pass in multiple filter conditions and let’s use some of the filter operations.

Sugar 7 supports the following filter operations

$equals Performs an exact match on that field.
$not_equals Performs an exact match on that field.
$not_equals Matches on non-matching values.
$starts Matches on anything that starts with the value.
$in Finds anything where field matches one of the values as specified as an array.
$not_in Finds anything where field does not matches any of the values as specified as an array.
$is_null Checks if the field is null. This operation does not need a value specified.
$not_null Checks if the field is not null. This operation does not need a value specified.
$lt Matches when the field is less than the value.
$lte Matches when the field is less than or equal to the value.
$gt Matches when the field is greater than the value.
$gte Matches when the field is greater than or equal to the value.

So to filter for Account names starting with the letter “B” we’ll use the $starts operator. So instead of “filter[0][name]=Burger Palace” we can use filter[0][name][$starts]=B.

SugarCRM stores email addresses as normalized values. To search for an Account with an email address we need to search using the relationship for email addresses which is email_addresses. Specifically, we want to filter on the field email_address within that relationship. So to do an exact match on a specific email address we pass in  filter[0][email_addresses.email_address]=burgers@example.com.  Our request will look like /rest/v10/Accounts?filter[0][name][$starts]=B&filter[0][email_addresses.email_address]=burgers@example.com&fields=name,account_type,description,email . You will notice that we also added email to the list of fields that we wish to have returned which will cause it to return a collection of all the email addresses that are associated with this record.

Continue to Part 2 – Retrieving, Updating, and Relating Records